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Volume [field_article_intvolume_value], Issue [field_article_intissue_value] — March 1992

Articles

A Clean Air Act Primer: Part I (Chapter 4)

by Theodore L. Garrett and Sonya D. Winner

Editors' Summary: On November 15, 1990, President Bush signed into law the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the first comprehensive changes to the Act in 13 years. During the intervening months since its enactment, EPA has geared up, streamlined, and commenced its rulemaking processes to accommodate the regulatory burden the new law places on the Agency. As amended by the 1990 amendments, the Clean Air Act instructs EPA to promulgate 27 rules during each of the first two years. However, EPA must do much of its interpretation and rulemaking of the new Act's mandates without the aid of a comprehensive legislative history, because Congress rushed to get the 1990 amendments passed before the end of the 101st Congress. The minimal conference report and other reports related to passage of the amendments have already proved troublesome where the language Congress used is ambiguous. For example, litigation and political pressure have embroiled EPA's WEPCo rulemaking, which addresses how the amended Act's new source performance standards and new source review programs are to be applied to electric utilities' plans to renovate existing facilities. This may be only the tip of the struggles that EPA will face in implementing the new law.

In this three part series of Articles, the authors provide a comprehensive analysis of the Clean Air Act, from its origins through the 1990 amendments and their impacts. In Part I, the authors discuss the history of the Clean Air Act and provide a section-by-section overview of its provisions. In addition, they explain the Act's focus on national air quality standards, provisions for state implementation plans, and the goal of bringing areas with dirty air into attainment of the standards.

Parts II and III, planned for publication in the next two to three months, will address the 1977 amendments, EPA's post-1987 attainment policy, comprehensive analysis of the 1990 amendments, and impacts of the 1990 amendments on regulatory agencies and industry.

Setting the Stage for the Earth Summit: Brazil 1992

by Thomas L. Adams and Jose Martinez-Aragon

Editors' Summary: From June 1 to June 12, 1992, the United Nations (U.N.) Conference on Environment and Development, commonly referred to as the Earth Summit, is scheduled to meet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This conference has been hailed as a "constitutional convention" for the global environment. Conference organizers estimate that 15,000 representatives from more than 150 nations will participate. Issues on the agenda include such high-profile topics as climate change, forest conservation, and biodiversity. The authors discuss the background of the conference, beginning with the U.N. Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1972. They review the U.N. preparatory committee meetings that have been held in preparation for the Rio conference, and review the principle items on the agenda. The authors next analyze the subjects of contention among the countries and regions that are expected to be the main players at the conference and in future international negotiations on global environmental problems. The authors conclude that it is still too early to predict the outcome of the conference. Although the negotiations leading up to the conference indicate that there is much disagreement on fundamental issues, the amount of public attention generated by the preparations for the conference at least raise hopes that the Earth Summit will produce some positive steps toward a new environmental world order.

A Clean Air Act Primer: Part I (Chapter 2)

by Theodore L. Garrett and Sonya D. Winner

Editors' Summary: On November 15, 1990, President Bush signed into law the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the first comprehensive changes to the Act in 13 years. During the intervening months since its enactment, EPA has geared up, streamlined, and commenced its rulemaking processes to accommodate the regulatory burden the new law places on the Agency. As amended by the 1990 amendments, the Clean Air Act instructs EPA to promulgate 27 rules during each of the first two years. However, EPA must do much of its interpretation and rulemaking of the new Act's mandates without the aid of a comprehensive legislative history, because Congress rushed to get the 1990 amendments passed before the end of the 101st Congress. The minimal conference report and other reports related to passage of the amendments have already proved troublesome where the language Congress used is ambiguous. For example, litigation and political pressure have embroiled EPA's WEPCo rulemaking, which addresses how the amended Act's new source performance standards and new source review programs are to be applied to electric utilities' plans to renovate existing facilities. This may be only the tip of the struggles that EPA will face in implementing the new law.

In this three part series of Articles, the authors provide a comprehensive analysis of the Clean Air Act, from its origins through the 1990 amendments and their impacts. In Part I, the authors discuss the history of the Clean Air Act and provide a section-by-section overview of its provisions. In addition, they explain the Act's focus on national air quality standards, provisions for state implementation plans, and the goal of bringing areas with dirty air into attainment of the standards.

Parts II and III, planned for publication in the next two to three months, will address the 1977 amendments, EPA's post-1987 attainment policy, comprehensive analysis of the 1990 amendments, and impacts of the 1990 amendments on regulatory agencies and industry.

A Clean Air Act Primer: Part I (Chapter 3)

by Theodore L. Garrett and Sonya D. Winner

Editors' Summary: On November 15, 1990, President Bush signed into law the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the first comprehensive changes to the Act in 13 years. During the intervening months since its enactment, EPA has geared up, streamlined, and commenced its rulemaking processes to accommodate the regulatory burden the new law places on the Agency. As amended by the 1990 amendments, the Clean Air Act instructs EPA to promulgate 27 rules during each of the first two years. However, EPA must do much of its interpretation and rulemaking of the new Act's mandates without the aid of a comprehensive legislative history, because Congress rushed to get the 1990 amendments passed before the end of the 101st Congress. The minimal conference report and other reports related to passage of the amendments have already proved troublesome where the language Congress used is ambiguous. For example, litigation and political pressure have embroiled EPA's WEPCo rulemaking, which addresses how the amended Act's new source performance standards and new source review programs are to be applied to electric utilities' plans to renovate existing facilities. This may be only the tip of the struggles that EPA will face in implementing the new law.

In this three part series of Articles, the authors provide a comprehensive analysis of the Clean Air Act, from its origins through the 1990 amendments and their impacts. In Part I, the authors discuss the history of the Clean Air Act and provide a section-by-section overview of its provisions. In addition, they explain the Act's focus on national air quality standards, provisions for state implementation plans, and the goal of bringing areas with dirty air into attainment of the standards.

Parts II and III, planned for publication in the next two to three months, will address the 1977 amendments, EPA's post-1987 attainment policy, comprehensive analysis of the 1990 amendments, and impacts of the 1990 amendments on regulatory agencies and industry.

A Clean Air Act Primer: Part I (Chapter 1)

by Theodore L. Garrett and Sonya D. Winner

Editors' Summary: On November 15, 1990, President Bush signed into law the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the first comprehensive changes to the Act in 13 years. During the intervening months since its enactment, EPA has geared up, streamlined, and commenced its rulemaking processes to accommodate the regulatory burden the new law places on the Agency. As amended by the 1990 amendments, the Clean Air Act instructs EPA to promulgate 27 rules during each of the first two years. However, EPA must do much of its interpretation and rulemaking of the new Act's mandates without the aid of a comprehensive legislative history, because Congress rushed to get the 1990 amendments passed before the end of the 101st Congress. The minimal conference report and other reports related to passage of the amendments have already proved troublesome where the language Congress used is ambiguous. For example, litigation and political pressure have embroiled EPA's WEPCo rulemaking, which addresses how the amended Act's new source performance standards and new source review programs are to be applied to electric utilities' plans to renovate existing facilities. This may be only the tip of the struggles that EPA will face in implementing the new law.

In this three part series of Articles, the authors provide a comprehensive analysis of the Clean Air Act, from its origins through the 1990 amendments and their impacts. In Part I, the authors discuss the history of the Clean Air Act and provide a section-by-section overview of its provisions. In addition, they explain the Act's focus on national air quality standards, provisions for state implementation plans, and the goal of bringing areas with dirty air into attainment of the standards.

Parts II and III, planned for publication in the next two to three months, will address the 1977 amendments, EPA's post-1987 attainment policy, comprehensive analysis of the 1990 amendments, and impacts of the 1990 amendments on regulatory agencies and industry.

The Proposed WEPCo Rule: Making the Problem Fit the Solution

by Richard E. Ayres and Richard W. Parker

Editors' Summary: EPA's final decision on its proposed WEPCo rule, which addresses how new Clean Air Act provisions apply to electric utilities, is expected soon. This Article provides a glimpse into the regulatory machinery needed to deal with implementing just one aspect of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990: whether an electric utility's proposed renovations at one of its facilities constitutes a "modification" triggering new source performance standards and new source review programs. Although Congress passes legislation and the President signs bills into law, executive branch agencies are usually tasked with the regulatory implementation of those laws. Thus, what Congress writes and the President signs into law is often not what interested parties expect. The Article first explores the origins of the controversy, the parties involved, and reaction to EPA's first ruling on the issue. The authors then analyze EPA's response, the proposed WEPCo rule, and evaluate its potential ramifications if made final. Finally, the authors conclude that the proposed rule softens the modification rule as applied to electric utilities in pursuit of utility cost savings, but possibly at the expense of local impacts and technological innovation.